TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink

 
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
2018
TRANSIT SERVICE
GUIDELINES
June 2018

translink.ca
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
TABLE OF CONTENTS

 1     INTRODUCTION                               2     3    REFERENCE INFORMATION                   48

1.1    What are the Transit Service Guidelines?   3    3.1   Vehicle Capacity Reference Table        49

1.2    Using the Transit Service Guidelines       5    3.2   Service Productivity Reference Tables   50

1.3    Understanding Service Types                7

 2     TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES                 10   APPENDIX                                      54

2.1    Overview                                   11   A     Glossary                                55

2.2    Layout and Organization                    12   B     References                              59

 I
 D     Demand-oriented Service                    14   C     Acknowledgements                        60

D.1    Transit-supportive Land Use and Demand     16

 U     Useful Service                             20

U.1    Passenger Load                             21

U.2    Stop Spacing                               24

U.3    Service Frequency                          26

U.4    Span of Service                            28

U.5    Punctuality and Regularity                 30

U.6    Route Design                               34

PE     Productive and Efficient Service           38

PE.1   Boardings per Revenue Hour                 40

PE.2   Capacity Utilization                       42

PE.3   Passenger Turnover                         44

PE.4   Cost per Boarded Passenger                 46
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
2     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

     1

Introduction

1. Introduction
    1.1 What are the Transit Service Guidelines?
    1.2 Using the Transit Service Guidelines
    1.3 Understanding Service Types

TransLink is the transportation authority for the
Vancouver metropolitan area. It has responsibility
for planning, managing, and delivering an integrated
regional transit network—including rapid transit,
commuter rail, and bus services—to provide access
and mobility for people across the region.

In consultation with stakeholders and customers,
TransLink determines where demand is greatest,
what types of service are most appropriate,
and how resources are prioritized.

The Transit Service Guidelines provide a framework
for achieving these objectives and delivering a transit
network useful to the greatest number of people.
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
3     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

1.1      What are the Transit Service Guidelines?

The Transit Service Guidelines bring clarity and consistency to the
process of adjusting and improving transit services to meet changing       HOW ARE THE
customer needs. They are founded on the principles of being:               GUIDELINES USED?

    »» Accountable. Has clear expectations for performance,               The guidelines are used to:

        demand, service quality, and customer expectations.                »» determine where service
                                                                              should be provided
    »» Balanced. Considers customers first, along with
                                                                           »» design service characteristics
        the needs of local communities, while ensuring the
                                                                           »» determine appropriate
        efficient and appropriate use of resources.                           service levels
    »» C
        ollaborative. Builds upon partnerships with the public, local     »» measure and establish minimum
       government partners, and stakeholders to identify and address          levels of service performance

       issues and opportunities proactively and collaboratively.

The Transit Service Guidelines are designed to provide flexibility
in response to customer needs and community expectations
in an accountable, equitable, and efficient manner. They also
communicate expectations for service delivery to partner agencies
and local governments, as well as to TransLink’s customers and
the public. The guidelines typically define minimum thresholds,
which are often exceeded when applied to actual service.

The guidelines apply to conventional transit services, which include
bus, ferry (SeaBus), and rail (SkyTrain, Canada Line, and West
Coast Express). Other services, such as Access Transit services,
are not included. Key components of transit service—e.g., safety,
accessibility, facility design, and fleet design—are covered in separate
standards and guidelines documents developed by TransLink.
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
4    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

TransLink’s ability to provide services consistent with the Transit
Service Guidelines is influenced by available resources (in
particular, available funding for transit operations), and by the                          REGIONAL
                                                                                           TRANSPORTATION
investment priorities set out in the Regional Transportation Strategy                      STRATEGY
                                                                                           Strategic Framework
                                                                                           July 2013

and 10-year investment plans. If resources become constrained,
TransLink will meet these guidelines as closely as possible
and will work to achieve consistency as resources permit.

The guidelines can also help local governments make decisions
about land use, which has a significant impact on the success
of transit services. These and other guidelines, such as the
                                                                                           For the purposes of the South Coast British Columbia Transportation Authority Act, this document
                                                                        translink.ca/rts   constitutes the long term strategy for the regional transportation system, prepared in 2013.

Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines, can assist local
                                                                        REFERENCE: REGIONAL
government partners to develop land use plans that support
                                                                        TRANSPORTATION STRATEGY
the type of transit they envision for their communities.
                                                                        The Regional Transportation
                                                                        Strategy (RTS) sets the vision,
                                                                        goals, principles, strategies,
                                                                        and key initiatives to help guide
                                                                        transportation decisions in the
                                                                        Vancouver metropolitan area over
                                                                        the next 30 years. It integrates
                                                                        TransLink’s strategies for investing
                                                                        in system expansion, managing
                                                                        travel demand, and coordinating
                                                                        land use and transportation.
                                                                        The RTS also commits TransLink
                                                                        to advance performance-based
                                                                        transportation solutions that best
                                                                        serve the region and its citizens.
                                                                        The 2013 RTS identifies the Transit
                                                                        Service Guidelines as the tool used
                                                                        to “develop and communicate
                                                                        meaningful, manageable, and
                                                                        measurable transit service
                                                                        performance guidelines to clarify
                                                                        the conditions under which different
                                                                        levels of transit will be provided.”
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
5     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

1.2      Using the Transit Service Guidelines

TransLink uses the Transit Service Guidelines to support decision-
making related to adding, adjusting, or eliminating transit
                                                                                     Managing the
service. Application of the guidelines and resulting changes to                      Transit Network
                                                                                     A Primer on Key Concepts

transit service planning and delivery are supported by the Transit
Service Performance Review, a regular monitoring program on
the performance of individual transit lines and services.

The TransLink publication Managing the Network Primer explains how
TransLink makes transit service decisions to respond to service requests
and evaluate potential new services. Changes may be considered to
improve performance on routes that do not meet minimum performance         translink.ca

guidelines. These changes could include a variety of options, depending
                                                                           REFERENCE: MANAGING THE
on the reason(s) for not meeting the guidelines, such as reconfiguring
                                                                           NETWORK PRIMER
the route alignment to attract more passengers, adding more trips
or using a larger vehicle to alleviate overcrowding, considering           TransLink regularly monitors the
how to provide an appropriate level of service on unproductive             transit network to see how people
                                                                           use the various services available
segments, or more closely matching service levels to demand.
                                                                           to them. Based on what is seen,
                                                                           adjustments are made to improve
                                                                           both the efficiency and usefulness
                                                                           of the network. This task is called
                                                                           managing the transit network. It
                                                                           involves overseeing the service
                                                                           planning process and developing
                                                                           policy guidelines and performance
                                                                           indicators for transit service in the
                                                                           interest of maximizing personal
                                                                           mobility. This primer deals mostly
                                                                           with the management of bus
                                                                           services in the region, but many
                                                                           of the concepts can be applied to
                                                                           other forms of transit as well.
TRANSIT SERVICE GUIDELINES - 2018 June 2018 - TransLink
6    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

Processes to Plan and Manage the Network

The Transit Service Guidelines are applied during TransLink’s regular transit service performance
reviews, transportation investment plans, and ongoing community-based area plans.

TRANSIT SERVICE                             TRANSPORTATION                      AREA PLANS
PERFORMANCE REVIEWS                         INVESTMENT PLANS

To help manage the transit                  Every three years (or more          TransLink works with its municipal
network, TransLink regularly                frequently, as needed), TransLink   partners and consults with the
reviews and modifies its transit            creates a 10-Year Investment        public to develop geographically-
services to increase efficiency and         Plan, which outlines the key        focused, sub-regional, and
effectiveness. Each year, TransLink         initiatives, capital investments,   community-based area plans. They
analyzes all transit routes in the          and transportation services to      provide a blueprint for aligning the
system and publishes the Transit            be delivered. The plan details      local transit network with existing
Service Performance Review. This            projected revenues and program      and expected land use and travel
review helps identify trends and            expenditures on transit services,   patterns. They also guide future
opportunities for improvement by            as well as on capital, operating,   investment in, and changes to,
looking at the performance of the           financing, and administration       the regional transit network. To
transit system and its components.          expenses for transit, roads,        develop an area plan, the range
TransLink tracks several                    bridges, and cycling facilities     of local issues, opportunities,
performance indicators, including           across the region. The Transit      needs, and constraints are
those contained in the Transit              Service Guidelines play a role      balanced against the regional
Service Guidelines. This analysis           in shaping expenditures for         transit network priorities
informs TransLink’s annual service          future transit services.            detailed in TransLink’s Regional
change process to improve service                                               Transportation Strategy. Area
across the region and to match                                                  plans work toward achieving the
service levels with demand.                                                     performance objectives articulated
                                                                                in the Transit Service Guidelines.
7     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

1.3      Understanding Service Types

TransLink provides a range of transit service types designed to meet
different purposes, markets, travel demand levels, and objectives.

These service types are organized into seven categories: Rapid, All
Day Frequent, Peak Frequent, Standard, Basic, Peak Only – Limited,
and Special. All routes in TransLink’s network are categorized
based on purpose, frequency, and hours of operation.

Service types are defined independent of specifications for vehicle
type (e.g., standard bus or articulated bus) and mode (e.g., bus, rail, or
ferry). These characteristics are not defined because different vehicle
types and transit modes could be used for different service types.
8       TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

Transit Service Typology
                                                                                       WHAT ARE “SPECIAL”
                                                                                       SERVICES?
    SERVICE TYPE            SERVICE CHARACTERISTICS
                                                                                       Special services are planned
    Rapid                   10 minutes or better frequency                             and designed to leverage
                            throughout the day, every day                              unique circumstances in the
                            Evening service provided                                   region. The three types of
                            Exclusive, or predominantly exclusive, right-of-way like   special services include:
                            a bus-only lane or rail corridor; could be rail or bus     »» NightBus – basic overnight
                                                                                          service provided after regular
    All Day Frequent        15 minutes or better frequency                                transit service has ended
                            throughout the day, every day                              »» SeaBus – passenger ferry
                            Evening service provided                                      connecting Downtown
                                                                                          Vancouver (Waterfront
    Peak Frequent           15 minutes or better frequency in peak period and/            Station) with the North Shore
                            or in peak direction; less frequent at other times            (Lonsdale Quay Station)
                                                                                       »» West Coast Express – commuter
    Standard                15 to 30 minutes’ frequency                                   rail service operating between
                            throughout the day, every day                                 Mission and Downtown Vancouver
                            Evening service provided

    Basic                   30 to 60 minutes’ frequency on weekdays;
                            may or may not operate throughout the
                            entire day or 7 days per week

    Peak Only – Limited     Service offered only in peak periods and only
                            on weekdays; service frequency may vary

    Special                 Special services that perform unique purposes;
                            covers NightBus, SeaBus, and West Coast Express
9    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

Frequent Transit

Frequent transit means customers can expect reliable, convenient, easy-to-use services that are
frequent enough to eliminate the need to refer to a schedule. Three key transit network elements
provide frequent transit and, though they are not service types listed in the Transit Service
Guidelines, the terms are used publicly to describe lines or corridors with frequent service.

FREQUENT TRANSIT NETWORK                    SKYTRAIN                          B-LINE

TransLink’s Frequent Transit                The SkyTrain network provides     TransLink’s B-Lines provide
Network (FTN) is a network of               fast, convenient service within   limited-stop bus services that
corridors where daily transit               an exclusive right-of-way with    run every 15 minutes or more
service runs at least every 15              high levels of frequency and      often, throughout the day, every
minutes in both directions                  reliability throughout the day    day of the week. To improve bus
until 9:00 pm, every day. FTN               and evening. SkyTrain services    speed and reliability, streets
service may be provided by one              act as the backbone of the        with B-Line service may include
or more types of transit along              transit network, connecting key   enhanced service features, such
the same corridor as long as                destinations across the region.   as transit priority and customer
the combined services provide                                                 amenities. B-Line service branding
15-minute or better service.                                                  is currently being updated.
10        TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

      2

Transit Service
Guidelines
2. Transit Service Guidelines
     2.1 Overview
     2.2 Layout and Organization
      D    Demand-oriented Service
           D.1 Transit-supportive Land Use and Demand
      U    Useful Service
           U.1 Passenger Load
           U.2 Stop Spacing
           U.3 Service Frequency
           U.4 Span of Service
           U.5 Punctuality and Regularity
           U.6 Route Design
     PE    Productive and Efficient Service
           PE.1 Boardings per Revenue Hour
           PE.2 Capacity Utilization
           PE.3 Passenger Turnover
           PE.4 Cost per Boarded Passenger

The Transit Service Guidelines are intended to remain a
flexible tool to plan and manage the transit system. This
flexible approach—rather than a standards/policy-based
approach—aligns with best practices for service guidelines.
It also recognizes the role of the Regional Transportation
Strategy and future Investment Plans in establishing
priorities for transit resources. These guidelines are one
tool available to inform service planning decisions.
11    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

2.1      Overview

The Transit Service Guidelines are organized around three key themes:
                                                                                OVERVIEW TO THE
                      Demand-oriented Service                                   DESIGN GUIDELINES

                                                                                The guidelines within each theme
                      TransLink coordinates with municipal and regional         outline service performance, quality
                      partners to align the transit network with existing       thresholds, and targets that strike a
                      and planned growth and development to ensure              balance between being aspirational
                      services meet demand and grow ridership.                  and achievable. These guidelines
                                                                                were developed based on transit
                      Guidelines under this theme help TransLink
                                                                                performance in the region, and
                      provide access across the region, including               are backed with best practices
                      connectivity to local and regional destinations, and      in developing service guidelines
                      opportunities for added service in growing areas.         from other major metro regions.
                                                                                Guideline values are subject
                      Useful Service                                            to periodic updates, as the
                                                                                values are derived from actual
                                                                                performance of routes within
                      To make transit a convenient, reliable, and
                                                                                each of the service types which
                      comfortable choice for customers, the guidelines          change from time to time.
                      under this theme help to deliver service with reliable
                      travel times, convenient points of connection,
                      and appropriate time spans and frequencies.
                      Focusing on the customer, TransLink’s services
                      should be useful to as many people as possible.

                      Productive and Efficient Service

                      To ensure delivery of productive and cost-effective
                      transit services to the region, guidelines under this
                      theme help TransLink balance agency and regional
                      goals related to equity, efficiency, and effectiveness.
12    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

2.2            Layout and Organization

               Section Title:                                     Section Introduction:
               presents the theme                                 provides an overview
               title with colour-                                 of the theme
               coded label                                        and important
                                                                  considerations

      20   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines                                                                                            21    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

           U
                                                                                                                                           U.1     Passenger Load
      Useful                                                                                                                               What is it?

      Service
                                                                                                                          Useful Service

                                                                                                                                           Passenger load is a measure of how full a transit vehicle is,
                                                                                                                                           on average, at its busiest point or peak on a route.

                                                                                                                                           Why does it matter?

                                                                                                                                           Passenger load helps TransLink determine how full or crowded our
      TransLink strives to make its services useful for as many people as                                                                  services become while in service. If a bus or train only ever has a low
      possible. By making transit a reliable, convenient, and comfortable        TIME PERIODS FOR                                          passenger load, it could mean either there is too much service on a route   REFERENCE: TRANSIT
      choice, TransLink provides more options for its customers, alongside       SERVICE PLANNING                                          for current demand or a lower-capacity transit vehicle should be used.      PASSENGER FACILITY DESIGN
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       GUIDELINES
      high-quality transportation services to as many people as possible.        Because service levels and demand                         If a bus or train has a high passenger load, it could mean there is
                                                                                 vary throughout the day, many                                                                                                         Responsibility for delivering
      Providing useful service relates to TransLink adapting services to meet                                                              not enough service or a higher capacity transit vehicle is needed. A        effective transit facilities is often
                                                                                 guidelines have different targets and
      the region’s travel and mobility needs in ways that maximize ridership,    thresholds for different time periods:                    high passenger load can contribute to a negative riding experience,         shared between local jurisdictions,

      provide basic coverage, and/or support long-term ridership growth. While   Peak Weekday:                                             such as standing for an uncomfortable amount of time, struggling            developers, and TransLink and its
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       many project partners. With so
      the design of service will not be the same in every part of the region,    6:00 – 9:00 am and                                        to get on or off the vehicle, or being passed up, which can lead
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       many potential players involved in
                                                                                 3:00 – 6:00 pm                                            to customers being late or missing an important connection.
      TransLink’s approach to providing service will be consistent. TransLink                                                                                                                                          the delivery of transit passenger
                                                                                 Midday Weekday:
      has a variety of policy, planning, and design guideline documents that                                                                                                                                           environments, the Transit Passenger
                                                                                 9:00 am – 3:00 pm                                         How is it measured?                                                         Facility Design Guidelines serve as
      identify approaches to improving access to transit and accessibility,
                                                                                 Evenings (all days):                                                                                                                  a principal reference for ensuring
      including the Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines.              6:00 pm – 12:00 midnight                                  Passenger load is measured using the peak load factor. The peak             design consistency and excellence
                                                                                 Saturday:                                                 load factor is the ratio of average passengers carried versus the           across all modes, projects, and
      There are many elements of a transit trip—on the website or looking                                                                                                                                              environments. The Guidelines
                                                                                 8:00 am – 6:00 pm
      at a map, at the stop or station, on the bus or train—that impact                                                                    capacity or space available on a vehicle, expressed as a percentage.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       are intended for all parties
                                                                                 Sunday:                                                   A passenger load factor of 100% means the vehicle is at capacity.
      a person’s perception and experience of the quality of service.            9:00 am – 6:00 pm
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       involved in the planning, design,
                                                                                                                                                                                                                       implementation, and operation
      While it is important for TransLink to measure as many elements
                                                                                                                                           The peak load factor is calculated by dividing the average                  of transit passenger facilities.
      of the customer experience as possible, many of these factors fall
                                                                                                                                           load on a transit vehicle at its busiest point by the number of
      outside of the realm of service planning and decision-making.
                                                                                                                                           spaces (seats plus standing space) provided on each trip.
      Such passenger amenities as good lighting, covered bicycle
                                                                                                                                           The capacity of TransLink’s various transit vehicles is provided in
      parking, and real-time bus arrival information are addressed in                                                                       3.1 Vehicle Capacity Reference Table. These capacities account for a
      TransLink’s Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines.
                                                                                                                                           reasonable amount of space for both seated and standing passengers.

                                                                                                       Context Sidebar:                                                                                                      Reference Sidebar:
                                                                                                       offers useful context                                                                                                 identifies other
                                                                                                       for the information                                                                                                   supporting
                                                                                                       provided in                                                                                                           guidelines or
                                                                                                       the section                                                                                                           standards
13                  TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                                        Guideline Title:                                                                         Guidelines:
                                        identifies the                                                                           provides the
                                        guideline                                                                                guideline
                                                                                                                                 details for each
                                                                                                                                 service type

                   24     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines                                                    25      TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                                                                                                                  Guideline: Stop Spacing
                    U.2     Stop Spacing
                   What is it?
Useful Service

                                                                                                 Useful Service

                   Stop spacing is the distance between stops along a route.                                      Rapid
                   Why does it matter?                                                                                                                              800m–1500m average

                   Stop spacing has an impact on the speed and reliability of a service, as
                   well as on a customer’s ability to access a service. Too many stops make                       All Day
                   travel slow and transit less useful and convenient. Too few stops mean                         Frequent
                   less opportunity to access a service, even if it travels close by. The need
                   for fast and reliable transit service is balanced with providing convenient                                                          300m–800m average
                   access to the system when considering where stops should be placed.

                   How is it measured?                                                                            Peak Frequent

                   Stop spacing is measured by dividing the total distance of a
                   given route by the total number of stops on the route minus 1.                                                                       300m–800m average
                   This measure provides average stop spacing in metres.

                   While the average stop spacing on a line should fall between the
                   ranges provided in the guidelines, the actual distance between any                             Standard
                   two stops on a route can vary, depending on such factors as:
                                                                                                                                                       250m–400m average
                        » topography
                        » road design
                        » land use
                                                                                                                  Basic
                        » location of sidewalks
                                                                                                                                                       250m–400m average

                                                                                                                  Peak Only–
                                                                                                                  Limited

                                                                                                                                                        300m–800m average

                                                                                                                  Notes:
                                                                                                                       » B-Lines or routes operating on highways will have wider stop spacing.
                                                                                                                       » For areas where existing land uses will not generate passenger trips—e.g., agricultural, heavy industrial,
                                                                                                                         or low-density areas—exceptions to the stop spacing guidelines may be applied.
                                                                                                                       » Special: stop spacing for these services is provided on a case by case basis.
                                                                                                                       » Standard & Basic: stops in areas with high concentrations of seniors, people with disabilities, and
                                                                                                                         other special needs may be spaced closer together to facilitate easier access to transit.

                 Theme Tab:                                       Description:
                 identifies the                                   explains what
                 relevant theme                                   is it, why
                 related to the                                   it matters,
                 guideline                                        and how it is
                                                                  measured
14   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

     D

Demand-oriented
Service

Transit and land use work hand-in-hand to support strong, sustainable
communities. The design of the transit network should meet different
levels of demand across the region to support an effective transit system
that benefits the most people. Though TransLink provides service              Transit-Oriented Communities
                                                                              Design Guidelines
                                                                              Creating more livable places around transit in Metro Vancouver

throughout the region, different types of land use and neighbourhood
design support different levels of transit service. TransLink works
together with the region’s municipalities and other key partner
agencies towards the alignment of land use and transportation
investments, and to proactively address new opportunities to increase
demand, seek efficiencies, and align plans to meet shared goals.

TransLink’s Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines provides
context for this theme. The 6 Ds—destinations, distance, design,            REFERENCE: TRANSIT-ORIENTED
density, diversity, and demand management—are described in the              COMMUNITIES DESIGN
                                                                            GUIDELINES
guidelines as important to framing land use considerations.
                                                                            Transit-oriented communities are
Guidelines in this section are not intended to be used as a formula         places that, by their design, allow
for providing transit. Coordinating service with land use is, however,      people to drive less and to walk,
an ongoing and evolving effort between TransLink and local partners.        cycle, and take transit more. In
                                                                            practice, this means they concentrate
The Vancouver metropolitan area is a diverse region, and local context
                                                                            higher-density, mixed-use, human-
is an integral part of the decision-making process. The guidelines          scale development around frequent
help to strike a balance between providing a basic level of service         transit stops and stations. Transit-
across the region and providing faster and more frequent service in         oriented communities also make
                                                                            it possible to operate efficient,
areas where demand is higher. These guidelines are intended to be a
                                                                            cost-effective transit service. The
resource in framing this discussion among TransLink, local government       Transit-Oriented Communities
partners, other key partner agencies, developers, and the public            Design Guidelines provide a more
about where different types of services may be most appropriate.            detailed resource for municipalities
                                                                            and other stakeholders involved
TransLink applies different guidelines for appropriate types of             in community planning processes
                                                                            across the region to further the
service, based on the characteristics of the areas within walking
                                                                            development of more transit-oriented
distance of such service. These guidelines come into consideration          communities in Metro Vancouver.
when providing new service or changing existing service.
15   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

The 6 Ds of Transit-Oriented Community Design

The Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines are organized around the 6 Ds, characteristics
that describe the land use and built environment elements that influence demand for transit.

DESTINATIONS                                DISTANCE                               DESIGN
Coordinate land use                         Create a well-connected                Create places for people
and transportation                          street network

When land use and transportation            A well-connected street network        Transit-oriented communities
are well coordinated, transit               shortens travel distances, making it   are carefully designed with the
can provide fast, direct, and               possible for people to quickly and     needs of people in mind. Multi-
cost-effective access to more               conveniently connect with transit      modal streets and great public
destinations for more people.               en route to their destination.         spaces enable people of all ages
Proximity to regional destinations                                                 and abilities to access and enjoy
provides an anchor for routes, and                                                 a comfortable, safe, delightful,
also influences transit ridership.                                                 and inviting public realm.

DENSITY                                     DIVERSITY                              DEMAND MANAGEMENT
Concentrate and intensify                   Encourage a mix of uses                Discourage unnecessary driving
activities near frequent transit

Transit-oriented communities                A vibrant mix of land uses helps       Transit-oriented communities
concentrate most growth and                 to create complete, walkable           use transportation demand
development within a short                  neighbourhoods around transit          management strategies, such
walk of frequent transit stops              stations and stops, and supports       as parking management,
and stations. A higher density              a transit system that is well-         to discourage unnecessary
of homes, jobs, and other                   utilized throughout the day.           driving and to promote walking,
activities creates a market                                                        cycling, and transit.
for transit, allowing frequent
service to operate efficiently.
16    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines
Demand-oriented Service

                          D.1     Transit-supportive Land Use and Demand
                          What is it?

                          The 6 Ds describe land use and built environment elements
                          that influence demand for transit. Interactions among these six
                          characteristics help to estimate potential demand for transit.
                          Transit-supportive land use and demand guidelines indicate the
                          characteristics of adjoining land uses that will allow transit to be
                          productive and effective in meeting the needs of the community.

                          Land use characteristics help shape demand for transit, which in turn
                          shapes the level of service provided. No single land use characteristic,
                          or combination of characteristics, provides an accurate indicator of
                          how transit service will perform in a given land use setting; rather,
                          it is often the combination of all six indicators that determines
                          which particular service type is the best match for an area.

                          Passenger demand is the level of consumer demand for transit
                          services in a community or area. It can be thought of as the output of
                          these land use and built environment characteristics. Demographic
                          factors also shape passenger responses to varying levels of transit
                          service and must be accounted for in any decision process. These
                          distinctions explain why some routes with nearly identical land use
                          characteristics can have widely differing performance, and why a
                          simple formula cannot be applied to forecast ridership response to a
                          particular type of service for a given set of land use characteristics.

                          Why does it matter?

                          Land use guidelines provide one indication to assist TransLink in matching
                          the right service to the potential level of demand for transit service in a
                          given area. Different land use and built environment elements provide
                          one indicator of the potential demand for transit. Passenger demand
                          is a key outcome of these land use indicators, which drives many
                          decisions made by TransLink about where and what kinds of transit
                          service to provide. Once service is provided, changes in the level of
                          demand or ridership provide the impetus for a change in service type.
17   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines
Demand-oriented Service

                          Land use characteristics alone will not always predict transit ridership
                          response to a given level of service. When considering deploying transit
                          service in new markets, additional factors are important in addition
                          to land use, such as route and network connectivity, other mobility
                          options, built environment characteristics, and demographics.

                          How is it measured?

                          There are many ways to measure and describe the 6 Ds. Some
                          are easy to measure (e.g., the density of people living in an area),
                          while others are more subjective and difficult to capture in a single
                          measure. These guidelines use definitions of the 6 Ds identified in
                          TransLink’s Transit Oriented Communities Design Guidelines:

                                 Destinations. The number and type(s) of route anchors and major
                                 destinations along a corridor. Major destinations include rapid
                                 transit stations, post-secondary education institutions, regional
                                 shopping malls, and regional and municipal town centres.

                                 Distance. The number of intersections per hectare
                                 within walking distance of a transit corridor.

                                 Design. How people-friendly urban design is, such as
                                 sidewalks on both sides of the street, buildings oriented
                                 toward the street, and parking tucked behind buildings.

                                 Density. The number of people and jobs per hectare
                                 within walking distance of a transit corridor.

                                 Diversity. The mix and variation of land uses along a corridor, such
                                 as the mix of residential, employment, and/or retail land uses.

                                 Demand Management. The number and types of demand
                                 management programs in place along a given route,
                                 such as paid parking and parking availability.
18   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines
Demand-oriented Service

                          Passenger demand is a key outcome of the 6 Ds. For this
                          guideline, the potential for passenger demand is measured         WHAT INFLUENCES
                          by weekday boardings, which are indexed by service revenue        TRANSIT RIDERSHIP?
                          hour. Passenger demand is also used as an efficiency              The 6 Ds are one influence on how
                          guideline (see PE.1 Boardings Per Revenue Hour).                  effective a service might be in
                                                                                            meeting regional objectives. Equally
                          Because the 6 Ds are indicators of demand, the service            as influential is the demographic
                          types also relate to the level of demand experienced along        make-up of potential riders. Transit
                                                                                            ridership is influenced by such
                          a corridor. Land use characteristics and transit service
                                                                                            demographic characteristics as
                          characteristics build off of each other. A high-frequency         age, income level, employment
                          service is unlikely to produce significant ridership in an area   type and level, auto-ownership,
                          with characteristics that are not transit-supportive.             household size, housing
                                                                                            tenure, and cultural identity.
                          If both service and land use characteristics are in               Similar to the physical
                                                                                            characteristics of an area, no one
                          harmony, the ridership and productivity will likely
                                                                                            or two combinations of these
                          follow from the appropriate level of service.                     factors is an absolute indicator
                                                                                            of a successful transit service.
                                                                                            But, taken together, physical and
                                                                                            demographic characteristics can
                                                                                            explain why transit ridership is
                                                                                            more responsive to a given service
                                                                                            type in one area over another.
19    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                          Guideline: Transit-Supportive Land Use

                                                                                                                                                          MIN AVG
                                                                                                                                                          PASSENGER
                                                                                                                                                          DEMAND/
Demand-oriented Service

                           SERVICE                                                                                                                        REVENUE
                           TYPE           DESTINATIONS         DISTANCE           DESIGN             DENSITY            DIVERSITY        DEMAND MGMT      HOUR

                           Rapid         Rapid transit investments have been, and will continue to be, the result of specialized
                                         studies focused primarily on high-performing All Day Frequent routes. Investment decisions
                                         on these corridors will be reached regionally on a corridor-by-corridor basis.

                           All Day       High number        0.6–0.9            Generally         40–100 people        High level of      Moderate to      50–60*
                           Frequent      of anchors         intersections/     operates in       and jobs/hectare     land use mix,      high parking
                                         along corridor,    hectare            highly walkable   (median)             high levels of     cost with low
                                         connection with                       and bikeable                           retail activity    to moderate
                                         Rapid stops and                       environments                                              supply
                                         stations are key

                           Peak          High number        0.3–0.9            Moderately        35–80 people         Medium-high        Low to           35–40*
                           Frequent      of anchors         intersections/     walkable          and job/hectare      level of land      moderate
                                         along corridor,    hectare            and bikeable      (median)             use mix along      parking cost
                                         connection with                       environments                           corridors, often   with moderate
                                         Rapid stops and                                                              dominated          supply
                                         stations are key                                                             by high
                                                                                                                      employment
                                                                                                                      not related
                                                                                                                      to retail

                           Standard      Medium number      0.5–0.9            Generally         30–70 people         Medium level       Low to no        27–32*
                                         of anchors         intersections/     operates in       and jobs/hectare     of land use mix    parking cost,
                                         along corridor     hectare            moderately        (median)             along corridor;    with moderate
                                                                               walkable                               often has a        to high supply
                                                                               and bikeable                           dominant land
                                                                               environments                           use form, such
                                                                                                                      as housing
                                                                                                                      or office/
                                                                                                                      industrial type
                                                                                                                      employment

                           Basic         Low number         0.2–0.7            Generally         30–60 people         Lower level        No parking       15–20*
                                         of anchors         intersections/     operates in       and jobs/hectare     of land use        cost, with
                                         along corridor     hectare            moderate-         (median)             diversity along    high supply
                                                                               low walkable                           corridor, often
                                                                               and bikeable
                                                                               environments

                           Peak Only     This specialized service type is directed to assist in accommodating peak loads in particular locations. It
                           – Limited     generally supplements regular service, based more on exhibited passenger demand than on surrounding
                                         land use characteristics. As such, no land use criteria have been established for this service type.

                           Special       NightBus, SeaBus and West Coast Express are specialized services that have unique characteristics and
                                         transit planning contexts; therefore, no land use criteria have been established for this service type.

                          *Weekday boardings per service revenue hour in peak and midday periods.
20   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

     U

Useful
Service

TransLink strives to make its services useful for as many people as
possible. By making transit a reliable, convenient, and comfortable        TIME PERIODS FOR
choice, TransLink provides more options for its customers, alongside       SERVICE PLANNING
high-quality transportation services to as many people as possible.        Because service levels and demand
                                                                           vary throughout the day, many
Providing useful service relates to TransLink adapting services to meet    guidelines have different targets and
the region’s travel and mobility needs in ways that maximize ridership,    thresholds for different time periods:
provide basic coverage, and/or support long-term ridership growth. While   Peak Weekday:
the design of service will not be the same in every part of the region,    6:00 – 9:00 am and
                                                                           3:00 – 6:00 pm
TransLink’s approach to providing service will be consistent. TransLink
                                                                           Midday Weekday:
has a variety of policy, planning, and design guideline documents that
                                                                           9:00 am – 3:00 pm
identify approaches to improving access to transit and accessibility,
                                                                           Evenings (all days):
including the Transit-Oriented Communities Design Guidelines.              6:00 pm – 12:00 midnight
                                                                           Saturday:
There are many elements of a transit trip—on the website or looking
                                                                           8:00 am – 6:00 pm
at a map, at the stop or station, on the bus or train—that impact
                                                                           Sunday/Holiday:
a person’s perception and experience of the quality of service.            9:00 am – 6:00 pm
While it is important for TransLink to measure as many elements
of the customer experience as possible, many of these factors fall
outside of the realm of service planning and decision-making.

Such passenger amenities as good lighting, covered bicycle
parking, and real-time bus arrival information are addressed in
TransLink’s Transit Passenger Facility Design Guidelines.
21    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 U.1     Passenger Load
                 What is it?
Useful Service

                 Passenger load is a measure of how full a transit vehicle is,
                 on average, at its busiest point or peak on a route.

                 Why does it matter?

                 Passenger load helps TransLink determine how full or crowded our
                 services become while in service. If a bus or train only ever has a low
                 passenger load, it could mean either there is too much service on a route   REFERENCE: TRANSIT
                 for current demand or a lower-capacity transit vehicle should be used.      PASSENGER FACILITY DESIGN
                                                                                             GUIDELINES
                 If a bus or train has a high passenger load, it could mean there is
                                                                                             Responsibility for delivering
                 not enough service or a higher capacity transit vehicle is needed. A        effective transit facilities is often
                 high passenger load can contribute to a negative riding experience,         shared between local jurisdictions,
                 such as standing for an uncomfortable amount of time, struggling            developers, and TransLink and its
                                                                                             many project partners. With so
                 to get on or off the vehicle, or being passed up, which can lead
                                                                                             many potential players involved in
                 to customers being late or missing an important connection.                 the delivery of transit passenger
                                                                                             environments, the Transit Passenger
                 How is it measured?                                                         Facility Design Guidelines serve as
                                                                                             a principal reference for ensuring
                 Passenger load is measured using the peak load factor. The peak             design consistency and excellence
                 load factor is the ratio of average passengers carried versus the           across all modes, projects, and
                                                                                             environments. The Guidelines
                 capacity or space available on a vehicle, expressed as a percentage.
                                                                                             are intended for all parties
                 A passenger load factor of 100% means the vehicle is at capacity.           involved in the planning, design,
                                                                                             implementation, and operation
                 The peak load factor is calculated by dividing the average                  of transit passenger facilities.
                 load on a transit vehicle at its busiest point by the number of
                 spaces (seats plus standing space) provided on each trip.

                 The capacity of TransLink’s various transit vehicles is provided in
                  3.1 Vehicle Capacity Reference Table. These capacities account for a

                 reasonable amount of space for both seated and standing passengers.
22    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 Passenger load is a key indicator of a passenger’s level of comfort.
                 Passengers who have a choice between sitting or standing or, if
                 required to stand, have enough space to move freely through the
Useful Service

                 vehicle and will feel more comfortable during their journey.

                 Definition of Load Factors for Passenger Comfort

                   LOAD FACTOR
                   (% OF CAPACITY
                   UTILIZED)              RAPID SERVICE TYPE                                  ALL OTHER SERVICE TYPES

                                          »» All seats are full and all standing space is occupied.
                                          »» The vehicle is overcrowded, and accessing the doors may be difficult for many passengers.

                   100% or higher         »» Standing passengers will need to step off the bus to let others exit.
                                          »» Pass-ups are likely at some stops.                          SERVICE

                                          »» All seats are full and most standing space is occupied.
                                          »» The vehicle is crowded, and accessing the doors may be difficult for some passengers.
                   84% to 99%             »» Standing passengers will need to shift position as other passengers board/exit.

                                          »» All seats are occupied, and half of              »» All seats are occupied, and several
                                             the passengers are standing.                        passengers are standing.
                                          »» Some passengers will have                        »» Some passengers may have to move around
                   67% to 83%                to move around for others to                        for others to board or exit the bus.
                                             board or exit the train.

                                          »» All seats are occupied, and about one-           »» Most seats are occupied, and a few
                                             third of all passengers are standing.               passengers are standing.

                   51% to 66%             »» Boarding or exiting the train                    »» Boarding or exiting the bus occurs without difficulty.
                                             occurs without difficulty.

                                          »» All seats are occupied, and about one-           »» Most seats are occupied, and people need to
                                             quarter of all passengers are standing.             sit next to each other if they want a seat.

                   34% to 50%             »» Boarding or exiting the train                    »» Passengers standing are doing so
                                             occurs without difficulty.                          by choice, not necessity.

                                          »» Seats may be available for some                  »» Half of the seats (or less) are occupied,
                                             boarding passengers.                                and no passengers are standing.
                                          »» A few passengers will choose to stand.           »» Few passengers need to sit next to someone.
                   0% to 33%
                                                                                              »» Passengers have some freedom in where they can sit.

                 Note: The load factor range may change as the number of seats on a
                 vehicle changes. Descriptions of load factors for passenger comfort are
                 adapted from the Transit Capacity and Quality of Service Manual.
23   TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 Acceptable average peak load factors vary by service type and
                 time of day. Most customers expect transit to be busier (with
                 fewer seats available) during peak commute periods, and
Useful Service

                 acceptable load factors are set higher during these periods.

                 Guideline: Maximum Acceptable Average Passenger Load Factor

                  SERVICE TYPE          PEAK WEEKDAY                    MIDDAY, SATURDAY, SUNDAY           EVENING                          Load factor

                  Rapid                                 No more than                                                       No more than     100% or
                                                                                                                                            higher
                                                        15% of trips.                   No more than                       5% of trips.
                                                        No more than                    25% of trips.                       No more than
                                                                                                                                            84% to 99%
                                                        50% of trips.                                                       25% of trips.

                                                                                                                                            67% to 83%
                  All Day Frequent*                     No more than                                                       No more than
                                                        10% of trips.                   No more than                       5% of trips.
                                                                                                                                            51% to 66%
                                                        No more than                    15% of trips.                       No more than
                                                        50% of trips.                                                       25% of trips.

                  Peak Frequent                         No more than                                                       No more than     *For services
                                                        10% of trips.                   No more than                       5% of trips.     operated with
                                                        No more than                    15% of trips.                       No more than    vehicles designed
                                                        50% of trips.                                                       25% of trips.   for highway
                                                                                                                                            operation, the load
                  Standard                              No more than                    No more than                       No more than     factor guideline
                                                        10% of trips.                   5% of trips.                       5% of trips.     remains the same
                                                        No more than                    No more than                       No more than     as the load factor
                                                        50% of trips.                   25% of trips.                      10% of trips.    guideline for the
                                                                                                                                            service type;
                  Basic                                 No more than                    No more than                       No more than     these vehicles are
                                                        10% of trips.                   5% of trips.                       5% of trips.     designed to have
                                                        No more than                    No more than                       No more than     a higher seated
                                                        50% of trips.                   25% of trips.                      10% of trips.    capacity and lower
                                                                                                                                            standing capacity.
                  Peak Only –                           No more than                                                       No more than
                  Limited                               10% of trips.                   No more than                       5% of trips.
                                                        No more than                    15% of trips.                       No more than
                                                        50% of trips.                                                       25% of trips.

                  Special    NightBus In recognition of the different type of service that NightBus provides, TransLink has different
                                      expectations for crowding on NightBus which are addressed through a separate strategy.

                               SeaBus SeaBus, by regulation, has a fixed capacity that cannot be exceeded, and
                                      measures of its usability will vary from other service types.

                            West Coast West Coast Express does not conform to load factor guidelines,
                              Express but rather responds to passenger capacity levels.
24     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 U.2      Stop Spacing
                 What is it?
Useful Service

                 Stop spacing is the distance between stops along a route.

                 Why does it matter?

                 Stop spacing has an impact on the speed and reliability of a service, as
                 well as on a customer’s ability to access a service. Too many stops make
                 travel slow and transit less useful and convenient. Too few stops mean
                 less opportunity to access a service, even if it travels close by. The need
                 for fast and reliable transit service is balanced with providing convenient
                 access to the system when considering where stops should be placed.

                 How is it measured?

                 Stop spacing is measured by dividing the total distance of a
                 given route by the total number of stops on the route minus 1.
                 This measure provides average stop spacing in metres.

                 While the average stop spacing on a line should fall between the
                 ranges provided in the guidelines, the actual distance between any
                 two stops on a route can vary, depending on such factors as:
                      »» topography
                      »» road design
                      »» land use
                      »» location of sidewalks
25      TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 Guideline: Stop Spacing
Useful Service

                 Rapid

                                                                    800m–1500m average

                 All Day
                 Frequent

                                                       300m–800m average

                 Peak Frequent

                                                       300m–800m average

                 Standard

                                                      250m–400m average

                 Basic

                                                      250m–400m average

                 Peak Only–
                 Limited

                                                       300m–800m average

                 Notes:
                      »» B-Lines or routes operating on highways will have wider stop spacing.
                      »» For areas where existing land uses will not generate passenger trips—e.g., agricultural, heavy industrial,
                         or low-density areas—exceptions to the stop spacing guidelines may be applied.
                      »» Special: stop spacing for these services is provided on a case by case basis.
                      »» Standard & Basic: stops in areas with high concentrations of seniors, people with disabilities, and
                         other special needs may be spaced closer together to facilitate easier access to transit.
26    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 U.3     Service Frequency
                 What is it?
Useful Service

                 Service frequency is how often a transit vehicle picks up
                 passengers at a stop; for example, a bus might arrive every
                 10 minutes during peak commute periods, while a West
                 Coast Express train might arrive every 30 minutes.

                 Why does it matter?

                 The higher the frequency and the more attractive and useful the service,
                 the less coordination is required to time connections between routes.
                 TransLink balances needs for frequency across the network and allocates
                 resources to provide the most efficient service to the most riders.

                 How is it measured?

                 Service frequency is measured by how often, on average, a trip
                 occurs on a given transit line. Guidelines include minimum and
                 target frequencies that vary depending on type of service, time of
                 day (e.g., peak, midday, evening, night), and direction of travel.

                 Overview of Service Frequency

                 Minutes past
                 the hour
                                                  00:15                00:30                00:45   00:60

                 10 min service

                 15 min service

                 30 min service

                 60 min service
27    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 Guideline: Service Frequency

                   SERVICE TYPE            PEAK WEEKDAY                MIDDAY WEEKDAY              EVENING                      WEEKEND/HOLIDAY
Useful Service

                   Rapid                   Every 10 minutes            Every 10 minutes            Every 15 minutes             Every 10 minutes
                                           or better in both           or better in both           or better in both            or better in both
                                           directions.                 directions.                 directions.                  directions.

                   All Day                 Every 15 minutes            Every 15 minutes            Every 15 minutes             Every 15 minutes
                   Frequent                or better in both           or better in both           or better in both            or better in both
                                           directions.                 directions.                 directions, dropping         directions.
                                                                                                   to every 30 minutes or
                                                                                                   better in late evening.

                   Peak Frequent           Every 15 minutes
                                           or better in peak
                                           direction. Every 30         Service frequency during other time periods will vary.
                                           minutes or better in
                                           non-peak direction.

                   Standard                Every 15 to 30 minutes      Every 15 to 30 minutes      Every 15 to 30 minutes       Every 15 to 30 minutes
                                           in both directions.         in both directions.         in both directions,          in both directions.
                                                                                                   dropping to every 60
                                                                                                   minutes or better in
                                                                                                   late evening.

                   Basic*                  Every 30 to 60 minutes      Every 30 to 60 minutes      Every 30 to 60 minutes       Every 30 to 60 minutes
                                           in both directions.         in both directions          in both directions           in both directions
                                                                       (if provided).              (if provided).               (if provided).

                   Peak Only – Limited     Every 15 to 30 minutes      No service provided.        No service provided.         No service provided.
                                           in the peak direction.

                              NightBus     Every 15 to 60 minutes during late night period only, depending on demand.

                                           Every 15 minutes            Every 15 minutes in         Every 15 to 30 minutes       Every 15 to 30 minutes
                               SeaBus      or better in both           both directions.            in both directions.          in both directions.
                   Special                 directions.

                                  West     Every 30 minutes.           No service provided.        No service provided.         No service provided.
                                 Coast
                               Express

                 *Basic services are tailored based on community needs; they
                 may not offer service for all day or time periods.
28    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 U.4        Span of Service
                                                                                                               KEY CONSIDERATIONS

                 What is it?                                                                                   Span of service decisions consider
Useful Service

                                                                                                               several factors, including:
                 Span of service is the hours of operation for a specific transit service,                     »» performance of the earliest
                 from the time of departure of the first trip of the day at the first stop,                       and latest trips on the route

                 to the time of arrival of the last trip of the day at the last stop.                          »» demographic or land use changes
                                                                                                                  to an area served by the route
                 Some services run only during weekday commute times, some services                            »» service to connecting rapid
                                                                                                                  transit stations to meet
                 operate all day, and others run all day and late into the night.
                                                                                                                  the first or last train

                 Why does it matter?

                 Span of service, like frequency, is influenced by demand and travel
                 patterns along a route. The more passenger demand is spread out over
                 an entire day and into the evening, the longer the span of service.

                 How is it measured?

                 Span of service is measured as the minimum time period service
                 is provided. Minimum span of service guidelines define the
                 earliest and latest times different types of service should operate.
                 Higher ridership services will have longer spans of service, and
                 lower ridership services will have shorter spans of service.

                 Span of service guidelines vary depending on service type, current travel
                 patterns—as indicated by ridership levels during different times of day—and
                 expected travel demand patterns, such as service to new employment centres.

                 Minimum Span of Service for all services types

                                     Peak                 Midday                  Peak            Evening           WEEKDAY Late night
                               6am     8am       10am     12am        2pm       4pm      6pm    8pm     10pm      12am    2am       4am             6am

                 Weekday

                 Saturday

                 Sunday

                 Note: West Coast Express service is a specialized commuter service            All services       Some services           NightBus
                 and does not conform to these Span of Service coverage periods.
29    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 Guideline: Span of Service

                   SERVICE TYPE              WEEKDAY                           SATURDAY                SUNDAY/HOLIDAY
Useful Service

                   Rapid                     5:00 am to 1:00 am                6:00 am to 1:00 am      7:00 am to 1:00 am

                   All Day Frequent          5:00 am to midnight               6:00 am to midnight     7:00 am to midnight

                   Peak Frequent             5:00 am to midnight               6:00 am to midnight,    7:00 am to midnight,
                                                                               if provided             if provided

                   Standard                  6:00 am to 9:00 pm                7:00 am to 9:00 pm      8:00 am to 9:00 pm

                   Basic*                    6:00 am to 8:00 pm                8:00 am to 8:00 pm      9:00 am to 8:00 pm

                   Peak Only – Limited       6:00 am to 9:00 am and/           No service provided     No service provided
                                             or 3:00 pm to 6:00 pm

                                             Span may vary greatly between 11:00 pm and 8:00 am depending
                               NightBus
                                             on route and day, but core hours are 1:00 am to 5:00 am

                                  SeaBus     6:00 am to 1:00 am                6:00 am to 1:00 am      8:00 am to 11:00 pm
                   Special
                                             Westbound: 5:00 am                No service provided     No service provided;
                                   West
                                             to 9:00 am                                                holiday service varies
                                  Coast
                                             Eastbound: 3:00 pm
                                Express
                                             to 8:00 pm

                 *Basic services are tailored based on community needs; they
                 may not offer service for all day or time periods.
30    TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 U.5     Punctuality and Regularity
                                                                                               CONNECTIONS BETWEEN
                                                                                               SERVICES
                 What is it?
Useful Service

                                                                                               TransLink plans for timed-transfers
                 Punctuality means the transit service will arrive and leave                   between low frequency services
                 on schedule and is also referred to as on-time performance                    (basic and standard types) and other
                                                                                               low frequency or special service
                 or schedule adherence. Regularity refers to a consistent
                                                                                               types. Timed connections between
                 time between transit vehicles along the same route.                           low frequency services should
                                                                                               continue to be established, when
                 Punctuality and regularity are factors of reliability. Reliable services      appropriate, at transit exchanges,
                 arrive on time, or close to it, every day or arrive within consistent         bus loops, rapid transit stations,
                                                                                               and other key locations to allow
                 headways between vehicles (e.g. every 15 minutes). Reliability is
                                                                                               safe and convenient transfers.
                 one of the most important qualities of great transit service.                 Un-timed transfers/connections
                                                                                               are expected for trips on, or
                 Why does it matter?                                                           between, more frequent services.

                 Inconsistent services that arrive late or depart early result in unreliable
                 service and longer, inconsistent wait times for passengers. Unreliable
                 service can also lead to overcrowded buses followed closely by near-
                 empty ones—called “bus bunching.” As buses get delayed, there will
                 be more passengers than normal waiting at the next stop. The extra
                 boarding time will make the bus even later, and the delays greater.

                 Many factors can delay transit and impact punctuality
                 and regularity, such as traffic, construction, collisions,
                 detours, volume of passengers, and weather.

                 As service becomes more frequent there is a reduced
                 dependence on the punctuality of any single transit vehicle. In
                 these instances, a consistent headway, or regularity, between
                 vehicles is an important factor in measuring reliability.
31     TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 How is it measured?

                 Punctuality is measured by comparing the number of on-time trips
Useful Service

                 leaving at timing points along a route to the total number of trips
                 for the route.1 A trip is considered on time if it leaves a timing
                 point between one minute earlier and three minutes later than the
                 scheduled time (this definition is adopted from the International
                 Bus Benchmarking Group, which provides industry standards).

                 Punctuality is largely driven by location or corridor served (not
                 service type), which can be impacted by unavoidable factors
                 such as traffic, construction, congestion, weather, and other road
                 events; therefore, guidelines for punctuality of services sharing
                 rights-of-way with automobiles are set well below 100%.

                 Guideline: Punctuality
                                                                                      Departure at timing points

                                                                 Early                             On time                       Late

                                                                                         Scheduled departure
                                                                                               0 mins
                                                       -5 mins           -3 mins        -1 mins              +1 mins   +3 mins          +5 mins

                     All Day Frequent                                                                         65%

                     Peak Frequent                                                                            70%

                     Standard                                                                                 75%

                     Basic                                                                                    75%

                     Peak Only – Limited                                                                      70%

                                           NightBus                                                           75%

                     Special                SeaBus                                                               98%

                                West Coast Express                                                                     98%

                 Note: SeaBus trips must also arrive no more than 3 min late; West Coast Express
                 trips must arrive at the terminus station no more than 5 mins late.

                 1
                  In this document, punctuality is measured using departure times, but we recognize that
                 there are other ways to measure this criteria, including using arrival times.
32      TransLink Transit Service Guidelines

                 Regularity is measured by determining whether a consistent headway
                 (i.e., the number of minutes between transit vehicles) is maintained.2                           TRAVEL TIME
                                                                                                                  COMPETITIVENESS
                 This measure is used only for high-frequency services, when transit
Useful Service

                                                                                                                  Travel time is the amount of time
                 vehicles are scheduled along a route to run a consistent number                                  a customer spends completing a
                 of minutes apart, such as service every 15 minutes or better.                                    journey, from start point to end
                                                                                                                  point. Transit services competitive
                                                                                                                  with single-occupant vehicle
                                                                                                                  (SOV) travel times are attractive
                 Guideline: Regularity                                                                            to customers and can encourage
                                                                                                                  transit use. Significantly slower
                                                                                                                  transit trips than the SOV alternative
                     SERVICE TYPE        SERVICE CHARACTERISTICS                                                  are less attractive to customers
                                                                                                                  and, without other demand
                     Rapid               Vehicle will arrive within 3 minutes of the                              management factors such as priced
                                         scheduled headway, 95% of the time.                                      parking, can discourage people
                                                                                                                  from using transit, especially
                     All Day Frequent    Service will operate at no more than 120% of                             those with other travel options.
                                         scheduled headway (gapping), 80% of the time.                            Many factors play into how
                                         Service will operate at no less than 25% of                              competitive a transit service is, and
                                         headway (bunching), 95% of the time.                                     these factors must be balanced with
                                                                                                                  customer access to destinations.
                                                                                                                  As development occurs in busy
                                                                                                                  areas, travel time competitiveness
                                                                                                                  can be maintained by, among
                                                                                                                  other measures, providing transit
                                                                                                                  service priority and reducing
                                                                                                                  or combining bus stops.

                 2
                  In this document, regularity is measured by evaluating headway consistency. This measures the same data
                 and characteristics as excess wait time, another tool for evaluating regularity.
You can also read
NEXT SLIDES ... Cancel